2021 Canadian Olympic Trials: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


We’ve reached the final day of competition at the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials and there will be 6 events on the docket for day 5 finals.

Things will get started with the women’s and men’s 400 IM, followed by the 200 backstroke, women’s 1500 freestyle, and men’s 800 free.

Among those trying to qualify for their first-ever Olympic squad will be Tessa Cieplucha, Mary-Sophie Harvey, and Bailey Andison in the women’s 400 IM, Ingrid Wilm in the women’s 200 back, Emma O’Croinin in the women’s 1500 free, and Peter Brothers in the men’s 800.

Additionally, Taylor Ruck and Cole Pratt will have a shot at adding a second Olympic event to their Tokyo lineup as they fight for a first-place finish in their respective 200 backstrokes.

Follow along for live updates on all the action as get into day 5 finals of the 2021 Canadian Trials.

Women’s 400 IM – Final

  • Canadian Record: 4:32.52 – Emily Overholt (2015)
  • FINA A Standard: 4:38.53


  1. Sydney Pickrem – 4:37.02
  2. Tessa Cieplucha – 4:37.26
  3. Bailey Andison – 4:38.66

Tessa Cieplucha and Sydney Pickrem battled it out for the entire race, handing the lead back and forth a number of times. While Pickrem managed to get her hand on the wall first and was pre-selected for Tokyo in the event, Tessa Cieplucha managed to get under the FINA A cut of 4:38.53 to likely qualify for the Olympics.

Cieplucha threw down a 4:37.26 to shave more than a second off her 4:38.96 best time in the event from back in 2019. Cieplucha has raced for Canada before, having raced to a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in the 400 IM with a 4:39.90.

Pickrem will also be racing the event in Tokyo and will hope to improve upon her 4:32.88 PB in the event which she swam at the 2017 World Championships. Pickrem raced this event for Canada in Rio and placed 12th overall with a 4:38.02 and swam it again at the 2019 World Championships, just missing out on the podium with a 4:36.72 for 4th.

Just above the Olympic qualifying standard, Bailey Andison came in for 3rd place with a 4:38.66 while Mary-Sophie Harvey hit a 4:43.30 for 4th place.

Men’s 400 IM – Final

  • Canadian Record: 4:11.41 – Brian Johns (2008)
  • FINA A Standard: 4:15.84


  1. Collyn Gagne – 4:18.65
  2. Tristan Cote – 4:23.13
  3. Jacob Gallant – 4:24.35

Collyn Gagne pulled off an impressive win here in the men’s 400 IM and took out the favorite Tristant Cote. Gagne raced his way to gold with a 4:18.65, shaving a few seconds off his PB of 4:21.49 from back in 2019.

That swim for Gagne was not quite under the Olympic-qualifying standard of 4;15.84 but was under the FINA B qualifying time of 4:21.46. That leaves him as a potential candidate to be named to the team, should Swimming Canada choose to use their priority 6 selection criteria for events with no FINA A qualifiers.

National teamer Tristan Cote didn’t quite have enough in the tank to pull out the win and nearly got run down by third-place finisher Jacob Gallant. In the end, Cote touched with a 4:23.13 for the silver medal while Jacob Gallant swam a 4:23.28 for 3rd.

That means that Cote won’t get an Olympic berth after representing Canada at the last 2 World Championships for Canada. In 2019 Cote raced the 400 IM in Budapest with a 4:19.87 for 17th and swam it again in Gwangju in 2019, hitting a 4:17.22 for 15th.

Patrick Hussey came in 4th place with a 4:24.35 while Benjamin Loewen was a 4:25.72 for 5th.

Women’s 200 Backstroke – Final

  • Canadian Record: 2:05.94 – Kylie Masse (2017)
  • FINA A Standard: 2:10.39


  1. Kylie Masse – 2:06.67
  2. Taylor Ruck – 2:09.26
  3. Brooklyn Douthwright – 2:10.49

Kylie Masse didn’t need to win this event in order to race the 200 backstroke in Tokyo but still managed to pull off a solid 2:06.67 to take the gold medal.

Masse was pre-selected to race the 200 backstroke at the Olympics earlier this year based on her results from the 2019 World Championships. She won a bronze medal in the 200 in Gwangju, hitting a 2:06.62 for third place. Prior to that race at Worlds, Masse lowered the 200 backstroke Canadian record to a 2:05.94 at the 2019 World Championships Trials.

This swim is Kylie Masse’s 6th fastest time ever and is good enough to make her the 5th fastest woman in the world this season heading into the summer.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 Back

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Taylor Ruck, who had already qualified for the 100 backstroke and freestyle has likely added a third event to her individual event lineup in Tokyo with a 2:09.26 which is under the 2:10.39 FINA A. Ruck holds a PB in this event of 2:06.36 from the 2018 Pro Swim Series in Atlanta. Ruck won a silver medalist in this event back in 2018 at the Commonwealth Games, hitting a 2:06.42 to Masse’s 2:05.98 for the gold medal.

Brooklyn Douthwright managed to post a 2:10.49 to nab the bronze medal which is a solid improvement upon her PB in the event of 2:13.78 from just last month. Regan Rathwell followed with a 2:11.72 for 4th place and Ella Varga was a 2:11.95 for 5th overall.

Men’s 200 Backstroke – Final

  • Canadian Record: 1:56.96 – Markus Thormeyer (2019)
  • FINA A Standard: 1:57.50


  1. Cole Pratt – 1:58.11
  2. Blake Tierney – 1:59.49
  3. Richie Stokes – 1:59.52

After showing positive signs with his Olympic qualifying 100 backstroke on day 1 of the meet, Cole Pratt was not quite fast enough to do the same in the 200.

Pratt raced to victory in the event with a 1:58.11 but trailed the FINA A cut of 1:57.50. Pratt improved upon the 1:58.87 he posted in the morning but was also a bit slower than his recent PB of 1:57.96 from just last month.

Unable to notch an Olympic-qualifying swim, Pratt had a solid race with Blake Tierney and Richie Stokes and pulled both competitors under the 2-minute mark with him.

Tierney swam a 1:59.49 to collect the silver medal which is faster than both his prelim swim of 2:00.60 and has pulled off a massive improvement upon his best time at this meet, having entered with a 2:05.21. Stokes on the other hand swam a 1:59.87 in the prelims to get under 2 minutes for the first time and then posted a 1:59.52 in the final to collect bronze.

Women’s 1500 Freestyle – Final

  • Canadian Record: 15:57.15 – Brittany MacLean (2014)
  • FINA A Standard: 16:32.04


  1. Katrina Bellio – 16:29.67
  2. Abby Dunford – 16:38.75
  3. Alyson Ackman – 16:46.32

Katrina Bellio had an absolutely dominant performance in the women’s 1500 freestyle, pulling away from the field early on and holding her lead until she touched the wall with a 16:29.67 to get under the 16:32.04 FINA A cut.

It looks like Bellio will officially become Canada’s first-ever woman to race the 1500 freestyle at the Olympics as the event has just been added to the Olympic program. Bellio needed a PB in order to add her name to the roster, having entered with a 16:34.99.

Bellio hit that 16:34.99 best time just last month at a May 2019 time trial and prior to that held a 16:39.54 from March 2020.

Coming in with a 16:38.75 for the silver medal was Abby Dunford which means that she didn’t quite swim fast enough to qualify for the Games. Dunford made the move to the United States to train with an elite training group called the Sandpipers of Nevada. The Sandpipers, led by head coach Ron Aitken, recently got 3 swimmers onto the US Olympic swim team in the form of Bella Sims on the 4×200 free relay, Erica Sullivan in the 1500 free, and Katie Grimes in the 800.

Dunford’s silver medal-winning swim got him under her entry time of 16:38.75.

400 freestyle champion came in with a 16:46.32 which got her under the 16:54.53 that she entered with and Ella Jansen came in 4th place with a 16:56.37. Notably, the top seed in the event Emma O’Croinin was well off her pace here and swam a 17:05.37 for 6th place overall. O’Croinin was entered in the event with a 16:30.46 which is actually under the FINA A cut.

Men’s 800 Freestyle – Final

  • Canadian Record: 7:41.86 – Ryan Cochrane (2011)
  • FINA A Standard: 7:54.31


  1. Eric Brown – 7:59.87
  2. Alexander Axon – 8:04.19
  3. Jeremy Bagshaw – 8:04.94

Eric Brown got to the wall first in the men’s 800 freestyle with a 7:59.87 which made him the only man in the field to crack 8 minutes. The swim for Brown allowed him to shave more than 10 seconds off his PB in the event of 8:12.39.

While he took the gold medal, Brown didn’t swim fast enough to get under the FINA A of 7:54.31 that he would have needed to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Alexander Axon wasn’t too far behind Brown and powered his way to an 8:04.19 for the silver medal which was just ahead of long-time national teamer Jeremy Bagshaw’s 8:04.94. Alexander Pratt nearly ran down those 2 podium finishers with the fastest last 50 split in the field of 28.48. Pratt, however, just missed the podium and ended with an 8:05.95 for 4th.

400 and 1500 freestyle champion Peter Brothers was a little bit slower than he’s been so far at this meet and came in with an 8:10.96 for 5th place.

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Tony McKinnon
1 year ago

You have missed Emily Sebohm’s 2:06.38 to finish second at the Australian trials!!!

1 year ago

I haven’t really seen discussed in the streams. Is there any chance for swimmers who swam the Olympic Selection Times to qualify where no one swam the A qualification time?

Last edited 1 year ago by Arthur
Reply to  Arthur
1 year ago

Highly doubtful as SNC have not done in past trials so unlikely during a pandemic.

1 year ago

Nice swim by Eric brown.. sub 8mins… not to be confused with Erica brown of course

1 year ago

Always hard to know what Ruck might do. The title of hardest to predict still goes to Vlad!

BC tough
1 year ago

Any way they can just let Cole Pratt swim the 200 at the Olympics? He has a 1:55 in him I reckon.

Reply to  BC tough
1 year ago

Just has to go out faster, if you go 53 in the 100 have to go out 55-56 then close right around the same time.

Miss M
1 year ago

The 200 back world rankings are wrong: you haven’t added Emily Seebohm’s 2:06:38 from trials. She’s 4th in the world, Bacon is 5th and Masse 6th.

Miss M
Reply to  Miss M
1 year ago

Kaylee McKeown also improved her world leading time to 2:04:28

Reply to  Miss M
1 year ago

Go to fina …it’s the only site normally updates and correct


Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago

FINA has its issues too.

Updated every day is http://nuotomondiale.altervista.org/files/_world_lists_2021_women.pdf

Reply to  boknows34
1 year ago

Still sometimes misses swims as well so there are no perfect rankings. FINA could learn a thing or two from World Athletics. Their results database and rankings seem to be rapidly updated and rarely missing anything important.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

True, but FINA have some glaring mistakes like listing SCM times in its LCM database.

Reply to  boknows34
1 year ago

They dumped a whole meet worth of SCY times into the database earlier this year and it made the rankings pretty much useless. I sent them a message on Facebook and they eventually fixed it but it shouldn’t really happen at all.

Last edited 1 year ago by Troyy
Reply to  Miss M
1 year ago

It a way of keeping the Americans interested

Reply to  Miss M
1 year ago

They’re pretty much always wrong.

SwimFan NU
1 year ago

Abby Dunford: another Sandpipers distance swimmer. Where are they coming from

Reply to  SwimFan NU
1 year ago

Several people obviously don’t want an answer to that question. In fact, they seem to dislike that you even brought it up in the first place. 😉

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
1 year ago

Might have expected a little more from Masse after two stellar 100s. I know she’s better at the 100, but a 2:05 would have been nice, to give McKeown something to think about. With her history of getting her hand to the wall though, I think Masse should still be good for a medal in the 200.

Nice to see Ruck qualify in another event! Hopefully she’ll be in better form at the Olympics.